Medial Collateral Ligament sprain
A medial Collateral Ligament sprain is a very common injury.
What is the MCL?
The medial collateral ligament makes up part of the support system around our knees on the inner portion. It originates above the joint line (femur), crosses it and attaches below the knee joint line (tibia). The MCL is made up of collagen fibres with little elastic properties which helps aid in its function of knee stability/control. A ligaments ligament’s job is to maintain stability within the joint and control excessive motion.
Causes and Grades of a Medial Collateral Ligament sprain
In most cases, a medial collateral ligament sprain is injured as a result of an outside force hitting the knee. For example, getting tackled at the knee from the side in rugby. This force may cause twisting or bending of the knee which can potentially cause tearing through the ligament.
There are 3 different grades of injury when it comes to ligament injuries:
- Grade 1 is when there is minimal damage done to the ligament but enough to cause tenderness, swelling and pain.
- Grade 2 is similar to Grade 1 with an increase in pain and swelling while also feeling instability within the knee.
- Grade 3 is seen with severe pain, and swelling, and you may have heard a popping sound during the injury.
How to manage or prevent an injury
Although some injuries can be outside of our control we can help limit our risk. It is always important to have a proper warm-up before beginning any exercise or sport. Maintaining a good balance of exercises focused on mobility, balance, and strength.
If an injury does occur it’s important to seek the advice of a physiotherapist. Working with a physio can help maintain swelling, tolerance to weight-bearing, and knee movement. Exercise needs to be progressed to regain strength and stability through the knee. Working toward building the knee back to not just its original form, but better in order to prevent another injury.
Blog entry by our physio Dr Jeoy Timpano. Contact us today to book in and get your MCl checked.